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North Dakota Water Commission getting 5 new workers

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- The North Dakota Legislature's Budget Section has approved five new employees for the State Water Commission, despite questions over the funding source and whether the matter should go before the full Legislature.

The Budget Section approved the workers on Wednesday at the recommendation of the state Emergency Commission.

The $546,000 to hire the employees will come from a state oil tax trust fund that provides money for water projects. Minot Rep. Larry Bellew questions using fund money to hire workers. Underwood Rep. Jeff Delzer says there's also a question about whether the Budget Section should be approving new employees.

Valley City Sen. Larry Robinson says the state is seeing more demand for services and staff, and he expects more such requests in coming years.